ART COLLECTIVE: Randal Roberts – Live Painter
- By Eric Moore
- Published on August 27, 2012
Name: Randal Roberts
Trade: Live painting
Highlights: Painted with Alex Grey and Papadosio
By age 30, Randal Roberts had become discontented with his self-described mundane existence as a computer specialist at IBM.
He had drawn and sketched for most of his life but had never considered making his living on art until he attended a workshop with Alex and Alyson Grey.
“[Alex Grey] said, ‘You know, you can do this for a living,’ and I believed him,” Roberts said.
And so, Roberts’ life trajectory was drastically altered. He went from a desk and computer to a brush and a canvas in the mid-2000s. He further developed a relationship with Alex and in that same time period had some very important psychedelic and mystical experiences with DMT that guided him toward art.
“Particularly with the one big DMT breakthrough, I had a dialogue with something that I considered an angel, and it said ‘This is what’s up and this is what you want and this is what it is,’” he said. “Maybe the world needs to see how we are all one.”
Although Roberts was focusing mainly on art, often spending up to 10 hours a day practicing his craft, he had also started a job at a holistic yoga and meditation center called The Omega Institute. While there, some friends introduced Roberts to the festival scene.
“My friends and I had formed these incredible bonds at The Omega Institute,” Roberts explained. “We’d all take a break from Omega and we’d go blow our brains out at Camp Bisco every year – sort of as a vacation. It was really the only place we could see Shpongle back then.”
Roberts quickly fell in love with the music festival atmosphere, calling it “more or less how life should be.” He and his friends have ventured to Camp Bisco every year since 2006.
That same year, Roberts completed his first live painting during a private party at The Omega Institute. However, it wasn’t until this year that Roberts felt he got his first “official” live-painting gig with Papadosio at Yoshi’s in San Francisco.
Since that April show, Roberts has painted at every festival he has been to this year, including Symbiosis Gathering, Lightning in a Bottle, Gathering of the Vibes and Camp Bisco. One of his biggest thrills as a live painter, he says, is passing on the same inspiration he got from Alex Grey to up-and-coming artists.
“One person after another coming in and getting it does not get old,” he said. “The caliber of the person continues to inspire me. Feeling a larger community and getting to meet those people is incredibly nourishing.”
He’s come a long way from being a desk jockey at IBM. Although he’s unsure exactly what the future holds, he wants to continue progressing as an artist and sharing himself with the world.
“I want to reach as many people as possible,” he said, “and just find a sustainable way to keep my mind and body able to hit the canvas 10 hours a day. I trust that whatever would come out of that would be good.”
If you're in New York City on September 1, you can check out Randal's art in person at Thou Art Gallery in Kingston New York. More information is below:
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